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Walnut Creek Magazine

OWN IT

Oct 03, 2019 06:54PM ● By Pam Kessler

She’s bright, beautiful, and curvy. A recent journalism graduate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, swimsuit modeling was not always on Gabriella Halikas’ radar until about a year ago when she posted a bathing suit video on her storytelling YouTube channel “Keeping Up with Ella.” Within minutes she added 7000 new subscribers. Today it has been viewed almost one million times. “People were commenting on my body and asking how I could be so confident,” says Halikas. “Why is it that only thin people can feel confident about their bodies?” Halikas is no longer a rookie when it comes to posing in swimsuits. 

The 22-year-old models for Andi Bagus and BlackBough swimwear and recently signed with Scout ModelingAgency in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Scout is expanding its curve division and advancing body positivity for plus-size women in the industry.

It wasn’t too long ago that only models who wore a size four or smaller had a chance to launch a career. Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, and influencers like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence, curvy models are not only gaining acceptance, but they’re also building huge brands, making money, and redefining industry standards. “At first, I was comparing myself to others, but now I don’t. Once you change your mindset about your body, your weight, and your health, happiness, and confidence flows from within.” –PK